One of the most important steps that you can take to prepare your aging parent during emergencies such as hurricanes is to create a supply kit. An emergency supply kit should be equipped with the items your parent would need to help them through the emergency situation in the best way possible. These items will keep them safe and comfortable, and allow them to fulfill their basic needs even during challenging times such as power outages.
Some items that should be in your aging parent’s emergency kit include:
- Non-perishable food. Make sure that your parent has enough high nutrition, non-perishable food in their kit to last for at least three days, and more if there is adequate space. This food should be easy to prepare and not require heat or special tools other than a can opener. Include enough food for anyone else who might be in the home with your parents, such as a home care provider or you.
- Potable water. When emergencies strike, running water is often compromised. It is vital that your parent has enough potable water in their kit for at least seven days. Also, include potable water for hygiene needs including brushing teeth and bathing.
- First aid kit. Minor health issues are common during emergencies. Include a first aid kit that has what your parent would need to address a minor injury or illness such as over-the-counter medications, bandages, antiseptic wipes, and others.
- Hygiene items. Your parent will be more comfortable if they can maintain their personal hygiene as much as possible even during an emergency. Wipes, waterless toothbrushes, and other such items can be invaluable for this.
- Entertainment. Weather emergencies often mean long stretches without power. This can mean boredom. Make these stretches easier by including simple entertainment such as books, adult coloring books, puzzles, and games.
- Light. Do not use candles during an emergency. Include flashlights and extra batteries, making sure that there are enough for your parent and others who might be in the home with them.
- Communication. A battery or crank-operated radio, a mobile device, and an emergency battery are basic needs that will allow your parent to remain in communication with others and stay informed about what is happening.
- Comfort. Clean, versatile clothing, a dry pair of shoes, blankets, a pillow, and towels can all make a tremendous difference in your parent’s comfort during an emergency, especially if they have to evacuate their home. Be sure items are clearly labeled.
Starting home care for your aging parents can be a fantastic way to help them enjoy a higher quality of life as they age in place. The highly personalized services provided by an in-home senior care services provider can allow your parent to pursue a lifestyle that is more independent, active, and fulfilling while also ensuring they have the support and care necessary to manage their individual challenges and limitations.
Even if your aging parent is largely independent and has only mild to moderate needs, the personalized support and attention from a home care provider can be valuable. This assistance can help your parent to stay more active, enjoy more time out of the house, save time and energy, and experience more physical, mental, and social activity throughout their later years. As their family caregiver, this can give you peace of mind knowing that they will be in good hands both when you are able to be with them, and when you are not.